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Reports: NiJaree Canady to hit transfer portal, OU making the move?

Bob Przybyloby:Bob Przybylo06/15/24

BPrzybylo

When you’re OU softball, you don’t ever have to hit panic for the transfer portal. The good ones? They want to come your way just as much as you want them.

The softball transfer portal window closes Monday, and OU has plenty of open spots. And now we have a real idea of who a legitimate target could be.

A game-changer of a target that would send shockwaves through the college softball world.

Multiple reports Saturday said Stanford star pitcher NiJaree Canady is expected to hit the transfer portal, as early as Monday. She is not in the portal as of Saturday night, but it does feel like the paperwork will be official by Monday.

OU fans simply wonder – is Canady a Sooner? And you know what? It sounds incredibly possible. It would be the second consecutive season where head coach Patty Gasso shakes up the softball community.

The same thing happened last summer when OU added former Oklahoma State star Kelly Maxwell. We all know how that turned out. Maxwell helped OU earn its fourth consecutive national championship last week. And earned Most Outstanding Player honors.

But OU’s pitching staff has been depleted. Maxwell, Nicole May and Karlie Keeney are all out of eligibility. Redshirt freshman SJ Geurin entered the portal earlier this week.

That leaves just Kierston Deal and Paytn Monticelli as pitchers who have thrown in a college game. You know the Sooners are looking to add arms. Canady, obviously, would check a lot of boxes.

After being named National Freshman of the Year in 2023, Canady didn’t slow down as a sophomore. In fact, she got even better.

Canady was 24-7 this season with a 0.73 ERA and five saves. She threw a whopping 230.2 innings, allowing 116 hits, 24 earned runs with a ridiculous 337 strikeouts. Included in that were 24 complete games and nine shutouts.

A native of Topeka, Kan., Canady would have two seasons of eligibility remaining. Canady has been the catalyst toward Stanford reaching the Women’s College World Series semifinals in back-to-back seasons.

OU has at least 4-5 spots to fill through the portal. Geurin, Quincee Lilio and Avery Hodge all hit the portal earlier this week.

The Sooners, right now, have eight returning players and eight freshmen. This next week, though, is expected to be a big one by Gasso and OU to start piecing together the 2025 puzzle.

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